First up it’s Michael Schenker’s latest project the Temple of Rock. A classic rock set sprinkled with old UFO and Scorpions hits mixed with newer tracks; a Schenker trade mark solo and the crowd is sufficiently warmed up. Still a few empty seats and gaps on the floor at this point, so if you’re going to one of these shows get in early enough to catch this legend at work; you can get that extra pint afterwards!

On to the main event with the unmistakable sound of Black Sabbath’s War Pigs belting out from the P.A, everyone is already singing along, it’s gonna be a loud enthusiastic crowd.

Big screens either side and framing the elevated drum kit set the scene; the band come out on stage first, Halford still waiting in the wings.   As the band kick into Dragonaut a scream of “welcome to my world of steel” is bellowed out as walking stick in hand, barley looking up from behind his shades the metal god prowls onto the stage.  Don’t be fooled though, the next two hours prove that the stick is definitely just a prop.

With the double bass pedal shaking the floor right up to the balcony where I’m sitting, the Priest tear through both old classics and new tracks from their current album Redeemer of Souls.Judas Priest Bradford

Starting most tracks from behind the curtain adding to the mythical rock god status, each time with a big entrance in another jacket we get full leather, denim, silver, mirrored and even an almost wizard type cloak, Halford, always the showman.

Aptly stepping into KK Downings shoes Richie Faulkner is the stereotypical metal guitarist with the riffs and poses in all the right places, with Ian Hill, Glenn Tipton and Scott Travis as tight as ever.

Chanting back and forth with the crowd Rob Halford truly is one of, if not the best, frontmen the UK has ever had.

A rousing rendition of Turbo Lover is followed by Redeemer of Souls, Beyond the Realms of Death and Screaming for Vengeance takes us up to track 10, re-iterating the albums and years covered tonight. In fact, we get 4 tracks from British Steel, 3 tracks from Redeemer of Souls, 3 from Screaming for Vengeance Judas Priest tourand 1 each from Killing Machine, Painkiller, Points of Entry, Sad Wings of Destiny, Stained Class and Turbo. What a back catalogue to choose from!  Next up is the absolute classic Breaking the Law which is sang back with the enthusiasm of hearing an old friend.

As the lights dim we hear the familiar roaring of the metal god’s Harley, as he rides onto stage to the riffage of the, just as familiar, Hell Bent for Leather;  sang entirely on the bike in full leathers with matching whip and cap, looking “metal as fuck”. No one else could pull that off!

An encore of Electric Eye and You’ve Got Another Thing Coming is followed by the thumping drum intro and screeching riff and vocal of Painkiller, closing the night with the classic anthem Living After Midnight.

If you have a chance to get to any of the gigs left on this tour don’t hesitate, The Priest are back and as good as ever. The metal gods are firmly alive and well and still Screaming For Vengeance!

Words by Darren Thompson

Photos by I.C.

Set List.

1. Dragonaut

2. Metal Gods

3. Desert Plain

4. Victim of Changes

5. Halls of Valhalla

6. The Rage

7. Turbo Lover

8. Redeemer of Souls

9. Beyond the Realms of Death

10. Screaming for Vengeance

11. Breaking The Law

12. Hell Bent for Leather

Encore 1.

13. Electric Eye

14. You’ve Got Another Thing Coming

Encore 2.

15. Painkiller

16. Living After Midnight

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